It started out as a running gag by former Achievement Hunter member Ray Narvaez Jr,. and ended as a stretch goal that brought back an old favorite from a titan in the machinima industry.
The Strangerhood, a Rooster Teeth production created entirely within the video game The Sims, has returned. The original Strangerhood ran for 17 episodes, plus several short, special episodes that deviated from the original plot line. The trailer for the original Strangerhood aired on September 29, 2004, and ran until February of 2006, updating on a non-regular basis. It not only aired on Rooster Teeth's web site, but on the official web site for Sims 2, as well. The show was not only difficult to make, but DVD's of the show, which were available on the web site as well as in GameStop stores, did not sell well, and Rooster Teeth put an end to the production after one season.
The show, however, developed a cult following over the years, in no small part thanks to Narvaez, who referenced the show throughout his tenure at Achievement Hunter in various videos, as well as on Twitter and the Internet Box Podcast, of which he was a member. Calls for a season 2 of the show picked up soon after as Rooster Teeth's company began to grow.
In June of 2014, Rooster Teeth announced the launch of the crowd funded campaign for their very first movie production, Lazer Team. The fundraiser was placed on Indiegogo, and Lazer Team quickly broke fundraising records in their first 24 hours. As stretch goals were met for the Lazer Team fundraiser, Rooster Teeth began brainstorming for other ideas for when the Lazer Team fundraiser hit certain milestones. That was when founder and creative director Burnie Burns announced a goal that did not seem attainable - at $2.25 million, Rooster Teeth would create The Strangerhood Season Two. C.E.O Matt Hullum initially seemed convinced that the fundraiser would reach that mark, and yet it did, raising over $2.4 million in a month.
Fast forward to this week, eleven years after The Strangerhood initially premiered, and Strangerhood Season Two is officially upon us. The first episode premiered for sponsors on the Rooster Teeth web site yesterday, while non-sponsors got treated to the episode on the site as well as on their official YouTube channel today.
The plot follows Wade, who was one of the characters in the first season of Strangerhood. Wade is the President Of The United States, and he is recounting the events of Season One to his personal assistant Samantha. Wade is voiced by Joel Heyman, one of the founders of Rooster Teeth and the voice of Caboose in their flagship show Red Vs Blue. Samantha is voiced by Lindsay Jones, who serves many roles within the Rooster Teeth. Jones is the voice actor of Ruby Rose in internationally popular and critically acclaimed RWBY, as well as the voice of Hilda in X-Ray And Vav, a show on which she is also a co-producer. She also is a member of Achievement Hunter and works as on screen talent for numerous shows, including 10 Little Roosters and RT Shorts. So far, those are the only two characters introduced on the show. The addition of Jones to the cast is a huge plus, as she has shown remarkable voice acting skills in her previous roles.
Unlike Red Vs Blue, which still uses machinima from the Halo franchise but also relies heavily on their animation department for action scenes, Strangerhood is still old style machinima, relying completely on Sims 4 for their animation. This provides its challenges, as the characters are limited to motions done within the game, and the mouth and facial expressions don't always match up with the lines spoken in the show.
As a fair warning, some of you will absolutely despise Strangerhood. This is not a show that is going to set the bar for quality standards on the internet. In fact, the show is rather dumb, and that is exactly it's appeal. While RWBY adds breathtaking animation with deep and often humorous writing, Strangerhood appeals to those of us who wish to shut down our brain for five minutes and get some cheap laughs. For a newer generation of fans, Strangerhood's appeal may be lost on them, but for those who were there at the very beginning of the machinima movement, Strangerhood is a throwback to an era limited by technology and pushed along by those with a few computers, a lot of free time, and a dream of changing the way people consume entertainment.
The Strangerhood Season Two - not to be taken seriously, and that is just fine.